How to look fashionable without freezing
Expert tips include multiple layers, colourful accessories and vintage finds
This piece was originally published on Dec. 26, 2019.
In Canada, looking stylish in the winter tends to come second to keeping warm.
When it's -20 C, you might be tempted to hide in a parka and winter boots.
Despite the cold, some social media fashion influencers manage to look put together. Here are their tips on staying fashionable and keeping warm.
Bling and bold colours
Vitori Vita (@vitorivita on Instagram) is a fashion vlogger and Instagrammer who moved to Regina from the Philippines five years ago.
"When I came here I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it's so cold. How am I going to dress up?'" Vita said.
His number one recommendation is a warm and colourful coat. If he's wearing an all-black outfit, he likes to add a bright jacket and accessories to break the monotony.
"My personal style is pretty loud I think," he said. "I love the idea that when you get inside a room, you light up the room.
"I want to have that aura, not just because your fashion says it but also the personality that goes with it."
Vita said he considers fashion an art, and takes inspiration from his environment and experiences.
"My fashion statement always wants to translate positivity."
Vita said he looks for colours that compliment his skin tone and makes him look glowing. Some of his favourite accessories are animal print scarves and jewelry.
"I try to go for bling because I think that that's me," he said. "I like to shine. It amplifies my personality."
All about that beanie (and other warm accessories)
Eddy Alvaro (@edwardoalvaro on Instagram) suggests wearing as many layers as possible, so you can take them off and put them back on as needed throughout the day. On the average winter day, he wears a light jacket layered with a heavier one, a scarf and toque.
"I think you still have room to play with by getting a good base layer and then adding a few different options," he said. "You can still express yourself and still look good as long as it's all cohesive in some way."
Alvaro, a marketer and graphic designer in Regina, said he truly became aware of fashion in high school, when he expressed himself by rocking a mohawk haircut and baggy pants.
"If I'm gonna be out and I'm gonna be seen, I want to give them something worth looking at," said Alvaro. "I might be a little extra for some people but I think I do it in good taste."
Alvaro is known for wearing beanies ... pretty much all the time. And he said how he wears them is actually a bit controversial.
"I don't cover my ears; I leave that for a hood or a scarf," he said. "That is more of the look that I kind of go with. It's not practical by any means. I just like the look of it better."
He said he used to wear sneakers and no-show socks throughout the winter, but has converted to wearing boots with higher ankles and traction for walking on the ice. He said they're well worth the investment for those on the Prairies.
This season, Alvaro said he's seeing balaclavas trending, he's also been really into plaid, including mixing plaid-on-plaid.
He encourages people to try new styles and experiment.
"The moment you question it, people will pick up on. But if you own it, then that's when your style will really, really shine," said Alvaro. "So push those boundaries and don't be afraid to try something different. As long as you're comfortable with it, I think that's what's important."
But he also added: "Put your fashion ego aside and just stay warm."
Vintage > new
For Amy Weisgarber (@tavinylfashion on Instagram), vintage finds are synonymous with winter fashion.
The owner and operator of T+A Vinyl and Fashion in Regina said she started going to thrift shops with her friends when she was 13 and loved that she could find unique, good quality pieces that were reasonably priced. Ever since, vintage items have filled her wardrobe.
"I love mixing patterns and I love really just being very bold," she said. "I'm inspired by different eras, mixing eras and mixing textures, and, really, most of my style has a lot of colour."
For winter, Weisgarber said shoppers should go vintage when looking for pure wool, cashmere and fur. She said clothes made before the 1980s tend to be well-made, plus, shopping secondhand is sustainable.
"Instead of them going into the landfill, we're saving pieces of clothing to wear and wear very proudly," she said. "I love vintage furs because I want to still respect those pieces of fur that were made 50 years ago and it really is the warmest piece of clothing you're going to have.
"Because we live in Saskatchewan it's not a sin to have a lot of coats for different for different occasions."
Weisgarber said some of the most popular vintage trends right now are chunky sweaters, berets, wool skirts and anything plaid. She said bright colours are also really in and she brings that trend into her own wardrobe with earrings that can still be seen when she is all bundled up.
"I think with vintage there's no wrong way to go it's just as long as you feel good and it makes you happy. That's what matters."
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